Discuss Home · Bootstrapped Podcast · Scribbleton Personal Wiki · HelpSpot Customer Service Software · Thermostat NPS

Anyone sending/sent handwritten thank you letters to their customers?


#1

I know a few companies used this, including Stripe. Have anyone tried this personally?

There are also services like mailift.com providing handwritten letters for about $5-$7. Anyone tried them?


#2

Also interested in this question. I’ve seen some services that do that and have thought of doing it. I love the idea of giving customers that personal touch.

I’m pretty bad at doing non-digital things though. I have a list of people that have requested that I mail them some swag, and I bought a bunch of this swag. It’s been taking me forever to get it out the door. Partially b/c a lot of them are international which makes shipping and stuff more complicated.


#3

Automated sincerity? That sounds weird and misguided (IMHO of course).


#4

Is it much different to an automated personal email from the founder though, like advocated here

I find this kind of email works really well, BTW. Not sure I would do the snail mail though.


#5

I send handwritten thank-you notes when it feels appropriate. I think I most recently sent one about two weeks ago to someone who granted a video interview on my site. In my experience people really appreciate it, and I think it sets me apart from other people since no one else is doing it. Some of the thank-you notes are related to my SaaS, others are unrelated. I’m a fan of the practice in general.


#6

@Andy Seem they maillift.com really took off, got investors etc. But most of the business is related to sales force leads, which are not related to saas and thank you notes. The automation thing is, if you want to send 25 mails monthly, it would take about 4 hours/month to write them + shipping, about 5 hours. For some founders 5 hours is nothing for others is much…and because … let’s call “laziness” few effectively do it.


#7

Yes, I think so. You would expect an email to be automated. But you wouldn’t expect a handwritten note to be ‘automated’. You are basically saying ‘I took the time to write you this individual note by hand’. But you didn’t. It comes across as dishonest and creepy to me.

On the other hand, a genuine hand-written note is absolutely fine.


#8

But isn’t the point of the email to write it in a manner so the recipient thinks it is not automated, but rather a personal email from the founder who just happened to be sitting at his computer at the time they signed up. So it’s the same thing.


#9

@Andy For example you can sign it as “Our team” instead of founder, so even if the customer finds out(which I doubt), i don’t think it won’t appreciate it…they get something physical they can touch and gives a nice feeling, something different.


#10

I have done a (relatively small) number of handwritten thank you notes over the years. It is time consuming, but I have found that it has sometimes made a huge impression.

In a related story, I recently saw a startup called Bond which promises to send “personal” handwritten notes that you don’t actually have to write by hand. I find this a poisonous perversion of the idea, and created a satirical site in response:

Http://hellofromahuman.com

After I built that site I got an email from a customer who had received one of my handwritten thank you notes, years ago. He sent me a photo of the note, which he has saved as a reminder that some companies actually do care. I of course didn’t know this until years after sending it to him, but he has saved it all that time. I was really touched, and resolved that even if I can only manage a tiny number of notes, they both fit with my values and also are meaningful for our relationship to our customers.

But, IMO, it matters that it is authentic.


#11

Not a digital product, but whenever I buy from gouletpens.com someone (assuming the person that compiled and packaged my order) has written a note of thanks on my invoice. It’s not the founder but it is a very nice personal touch that I appreciate.

I’m launching my first non-digital product and I plan on putting a handwritten thank you card in every order until I can’t anymore. Presumably, that will be a long time.


#12

Thanks guys.

After talking with a few SaaS owners about this I get convinced to try offering a service that does that for SaaS owners. I thought of getting the customers data from Stripe/Braintree so you can segment it easily to whom to send like new sign ups from the high paying plan or for customers of 1 year, This will also help to fill customer information data in the letter like city, time passed, etc. I also thought of including customizable text templates for inspiration.

I’ve finished only the landing page and I started working on the MVP. I’ll make a post for feedback soon, but until then what do you think about the landing page so far?

http://www.senddelight.com


#13

One of the most popular eCommerce sites here in South Africa did hand written notes for every order for years. They ended up with a massive team of card writers and in the end it had to evolve. They recently did a very interesting write up about what they got out of it and how they are changing, it’s a good read: https://medium.com/@yuppiechef/why-we-are-rethinking-our-greatest-marketing-idea-4ed919d58748


#14

Being genuine & authentic is so important. I just checked out the Maillift website, and one way they’ve immediately turned me off is by saying “MailLift actually ships the letters from your location. We have distribution all across America. The USPS marks each MailLift with your local post mark”. All this right next to an geo-located Google Map of my location in Australia, which has no USPS offices and I’m fairly sure is still not part of America, yet.

I’ve sometimes sent letters or handsigned (but not handwritten) notes to customers, and the reaction for me has been mixed. Some customers react a bit negatively to getting something in the post if they just thought their transaction was completely online. Sending a printed letter was okay, one time when a customer’s email wasn’t working. The times when customers have seemed most delighted are after email conversations with myself, not from things sent to them.

If you want to send automated handwritten notes, I’d emphasize the beauty / design / craftsmanship angle, not sincerity/authenticity.


#15

I would love do this, my main issue is I have truly horrible handwriting :slight_smile:


#16

@syneryder yea, you’re right about trying to decisive your customers. But to still get the benefits of a positive emotional impact, don’t sign in the template for the bulk order that you(the CEO) wrote the letter, just say something like All the best, Syneryder Team. That way you are not forced to play the sincerity angle and a handwritten one exceeds by far a printed note.

Yesterday just got featured on betalist, got quite a few subscribers.

The single and main issue is the collection of the mail address. I have to send an email to the users to get the mail address from them prior the order, few store address on stripe.


#17

I have traditionally had poor handwriting as well. But I recently have been taking steps to improve it. One of the things that has helped has become a surprising new interest. Fountain Pens. Tons of awesome pens. Each pen comes with different options (tip width primarily) and there are hundreds of amazing ink options.

I have one pen just for thank you note writing. Solid pen, nice italic nib that makes awesome looking writing, but I’m still playing with which ink is the perfect ink.

Geeks need fountain pens. It just fits.


#18

Yep we do this and we do this the hard/right way, which is to manually write out the letters which we send to new customers for www.staffsquared.com . Our office manager writes all of the letters one at a time. They then get passed around the office for everybody to sign, and then once a week she batches a few out.

Customers. Love. Them.

Seriously, we’ve had tonnes of positive feedback both on Twitter and via e-mail about our hand written notes. We went the extra mile and we had a wax seal made of our company logo and we use very nice paper so it all has a really nice feel to it.


#19

I had pretty good success hand writing my beta users. I recently learned about Bond from a friend who’s product has over 20k users. Due to their relatively small niche market (they’ve captured a large portion of it), their users have responded very well to the “hand written” letters. It might seem impersonal to use a service like that, but considering my handwriting skills… I’ll use a robo writer next time. Hey, even the president does it.


#20

I just got a sample from Bond–the note was OK, but the handwriting was barely legible! I thought it was just me, but my wife agreed that it was too hard to read. That turned me off of using them. If the customer can’t read it, you’ve lost that brownie point moment for sure. :frowning: